Dwelling, city, and temple are the words for these readings.  All of these places refer to the souls of the Faithful by analogy.

 

The Lectionary indexes none of the readings for Solemnities and Feasts of the Lord and the Saints, including the Lateran.  I located the readings by searching the indices from what is available for the Lateran.

 

Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12

 

The words “east, west, north, and south” develop a picture I have trouble imagining.

 

verse 2c        where I saw water trickling from the southern side.

 

The Vulgate (circa 410):               et ecce aquae exeuntes a latere dextro.

 

Douay-Rheims (1582-1610):         and behold there ran out waters on the right side

 

King James (1611):                      and, behold, there ran out waters on the right side.

 

Jerusalem (1966):                        The water flowed from under the right side of the                                                           Temple, south of the altar.

 

New American (1970):                  where I saw water trickling from the southern side

 

New Jerusalem (1985):                where the water flowed out on the right-hand side.

 

Psalm 46:2, 3, 5-6, 8, 9

 

The Lectionary does not use Psalm 46.

 

The antiphon:

 

verse 5          The waters of the river gladden the city of God, the holy dwelling of the                            Most High.

 

Verse 5 is also translated in the Lectionary:

 

verse 5          There is a stream whose runlets gladden the city of God,

                               the holy dwelling of the Most High.

 

The 46th, 47th, and 48th Psalms are special, singing the glories of the Temple, Jerusalem, a mighty fortress, each symbolic of God.  These psalms first appeared in Hebrew as prophecies, then in Greek.  Finally, the New Testament uses Greek versions to explain prophecy.[1]

 

Stuhlmueller offers a dynamic equivalent translation, sense for sense rather than word for word.

 

(a)

God, our strong refuge,

          Our bulwark against enemies,

          God, ever present.

So we do not fear a tumultuous earth,

          Mountains collapsing to the bottom of the sea

 

(b)

Ocean currents, now a quiet stream,

          Flow joyfully through God’s city,

          The sacred dwelling of the Most High.

With God in her midst, she shall never collapse,

          God, her bulwark at the break of day.

 

(c)

The Lord of hosts is with us,

          Our fortress, Jacob’s God.  Selah

 

Come!  Look!  A vision across the earth,

          The Lords acts with stunning might.

 

 

The three stanzas, (a), (b), and (c), represent three different interrelated settings.  The first stanza, (a), is about bringing order out of chaos.  The setting is Canaanite.  The second stanza, (b), is about God keeping things together.  The setting is Israel among surrounding armies, none of which can be resisted, except for God.  The third stanza, (c), orders Israel to be still in ecstatic wonder.  The setting is God in his Jerusalem Temple.

 

Psalm 46 reenacts history and tradition, point and counterpoint as illuminated by Isaiah.  God is not always visible, but God is always present.  God enables the Jews to endure and outlast whatever troubles beset them.  Messianic hope suits the Psalm.  Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., specifies the parallels: “the roaring of the nations (Psalm 46:6; Isa 8:7-8, 17:12, 29:8); God’s appearance in power (Psalm 46:9-11; Isa 17:13; 29:6; 30:30)…and trusting in God (Psalm 46 6, 10-11; Isa 7:9; 22:11; 28:16).”[2]  The point from the Psalm is the Davidic dynasty; the counterpoint from Isaiah is the presence of God in the Jerusalem Temple and city.  After the dynasty collapsed, Psalm 46 may have helped Second Isaiah shift the promise to the city.

 

Stuhlmueller explains the role of Mary and the roles of the Hebrew and the Greek:[3]

 

In the language of Isa 7:14 (which sees the maiden wife of `almah as the new queen of King Ahaz, whose child will continue the dynasty), Psalm 46 alludes to Jerusalem in its title through its reference to maidens in the plural form of `almah.  Psalm 48 addresses Jerusalem with a similar sounding word, `al-muth, which means “beyond death” or “for ever [sic].”  For these reasons, and for others beyond the scope and space of this book to discuss, the Greek Septuagint translated `almah in 7:14, not as “maiden” or young woman, but as “virgin” or parthenos in the Greek, in accord with Isa 62:1-5 … the concatenation of Isa 7:14; 62:6; and Psalm 46 offers some theological support for dogma that developed in their own separate way in both the Eastern church and the Roman Catholic church: namely, the inviolable person of Mary in her Immaculate Conception and bodily Assumption into heaven at the end of her earthly life, as well as Pope Paul VI’s invocation of Mary at Vatican II as Mother of the Catholic Church.

 

Stuhlmueller writes that

 

verse 8          The LORD of hosts is with us;

                               our stronghold is the God of Jacob.

 

is similar to Psalm 66:5,

 

          Come and see the marvels of God,

          His awesome deeds for the children of Adam

 

1 Corinthians 3:9c-11, 16-17

 

Reading 79A, Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time A, also uses this Lateran Basilica 671 reading.  Since I already translated the Greek for John 2:13-22, I translated this, the Second Reading, for these Personal Notes.

 

verse 9c        You are God’s building

 

verse 16        Do you not know that you are the temple of God,

                               and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?

verse 17        If anyone destroys God’s temple,

                               God will destroy that person;

                               For the temple of God, which you are, is holy.

 

The Faithful are jerked around from the palace-gift Constantine donated to Pope St. Melchiades (Miltiades) (African?)  (311-314) to the interior castle of their souls.  The Lateran had been the palace of empress Fausta.[4]  Concrete images can help, but can also reinforce injustices associated with the maldistribution of wealth.

 

The Lateran Basilica is the episcopal seat of the Pope as the Bishop of Rome.  This is also the highest-ranking Catholic church.  The full title is “Patriarchal Basilica of the Most Holy Savior and St. John the Baptist at the Lateran.”  This is where the popes lived until the Fourteenth Century Avignon papacy.[5]

 

2 Chronicles 7:16

 

verse 16        I have chosen and consecrated this house, says the Lord,

                     that my name may be there forever.

 

John 2:13-22

 

The Lectionary uses this passage at 29B, Third Sunday of Lent.  Comments for March 23, 2003 are about this reading.  Nothing new has been indexed since that time.  The bold print is changed to suit a different emphasis for this liturgy.

 

verse 13        Since the Passover of the Jews was near,

 

While the Passover was important to the Jews, the Passover is also important to Christians.  For the former, the Passover is a remembrance of the flight out of the house of servitude in Egypt.  For the latter, the Passover is a remembrance of the flight out of the house of servitude in sin.

 

verse 14        He found in the temple area those who sold oxen, sheep, and doves

                               as well as the money changers seated there.

verse 15        He made a whip out of cords

                               and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and                                                  oxen,

                               and spilled the coins of the money changers

                               and overturned their tables,

verse 16                  and to those who sold doves he said,

                               “Take these out of here,

                               and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.”

 

Oxen is translated by boves the same word used for cows.[6]

 

Doves is translated with pigeons in the RSV.  The grammarian uses doves.[7]

 

Money changers is interesting in that two different Greek words are used: keramtistaV and kollubistwn.  The first money changers carries the Greek connotation of cut short or crop, in other words, a cheat.  The second money changers carries the Greek connotation of money changer only.

 

The Greek for marketplace is emporiou that transliterates as emporium.

 

The grammarian translates this as “a house of commerce.”[8]

 

Verse 17                 Zeal for your house will consume me.

 

verse 20        The Jews said,

                               “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years …

 

Has been in this case does not connote has been continuously, but rather, has been intermittently,[9] like Mercury Boulevard.

 

This overturning the money changers is a turning point in the Gospel of John.  After this incident, the plot to murder Jesus is underway.

 

In conclusion, the Lateran is like the souls of the Faithful, in the sense that our God is a mighty fortress, a city, Jerusalem, on a hill, a safe dwelling place, a building with a firm foundation, a very Temple of God.  Ezekiel gives such a description of the Temple that one wonders whether he was smoking pot.  Paul, who undoubtedly never touched the stuff, brings a sense of the sacred to the human body as a place in which God dwells.  Read carefully, Chronicles and John point toward God choosing the Faithful in mighty ever-loving kindness.

 

For sources, see the Appendix file.



[1] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599, pages 51-55.

 

[2] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599, 54

 

[3] Carroll Stuhlmueller, C.P., The Spirituality of the Psalms (Collegeville, Minnesota: The Liturgical Press, 2002) ISBN 0-8146-2599, 54-55.

 

[4] The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, general editor, Richard P. McBrien (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco: A Division of Harper Collins Publishers, 1995) 1014.

 

[5] The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism, general editor, Richard P. McBrien (San Francisco: Harper San Francisco: A Division of Harper Collins Publishers, 1995) 752.

 

[6] Cassell’s Latin Dictionary: Latin-English and English-Latin revised by J. R. V. Marchant, M.A. and Joseph F. Charles, B.A. (New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company, 1952), page 73.

 

[7] Max Zerwick, S.J. and Mary Grosvenor, A Grammatical Analysis of the Greek New Testament unabridged, 5th, revised edition (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico 1996), page 291.

 

[8] Maximilian Zerwick, S.J., English Edition adapted from the Fourth Latin Edition by Joseph Smith, S.J., Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblico—114—Biblical Greek (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1994, page 80.

 

[9] Maximilian Zerwick, S.J., English Edition adapted from the Fourth Latin Edition by Joseph Smith, S.J., Scripta Pontificii Instituti Biblico—114—Biblical Greek (Roma: Editrice Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 1994, page 83.